How to Invent Fantasy Words

This post is similar to one that I wrote a while back for Mythic Scribes. But I wanted to write another post with some tips for inventing words and names for fantasy, and next week I’m planning to do a similar post about how to write technobabble for sci-fi.

So here are some of my tips for creating convincing words for your fantasy stories:

Use a real language as your base.

J.K. Rowling is famous for using Latin and Latin-esque-sounding words. How about the spells of “lumos” and “nox” to create light or make it dark? “Lumi” is Latin for “light,” so “lumos” isn’t much of a stretch; and “nox” means “night.”

Especially if your fantasy world is inspired by or reflective of a real culture, then go ahead and use the language for inspiration. In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien based the people of Rohan on ancient Viking culture. Many of the words used were either Old Norse words, or based on that language. Continue reading

5 Fictional Characters I’d Invite to a Summer Picnic

This week’s post is sort of silly, and inspired by Chronically Vintage’s post featuring some helpful blog post ideas. Since I was stuck for an idea this week, I’ll roll with this idea. This list could potentially go on waaaaaay past five, so for my readers’ sanity, I’ll keep it just to five.

Thorn – from the Bone graphic novel series by Jeff Smith. She’s the fun-loving country girl who discovers that she’s the crown princess, and saves her land from the Rat Creatures and the evil Hooded One. Of course, if I invited Thorn, I’d have to invite her guardian Gran’ma Ben, and her best friend Fone Bone, so now I’m up to three people invited to this picnic already… Continue reading

Fairy Garden in the Making

For those who don’t know, I have a fairy garden out in my back yard. It’s been a project a couple of years in the making. I initially went into inspired by various pictures on Pinterest, but otherwise not really doing any research or planning ahead.

I’ve had a few people ask me lately about my fairy garden. So consider this post a sort-of DIY about making your own backyard fairy garden. (If you want truly good instructions to make an elaborate fairy garden or even village, there’s much better information all over Pinterest and the interwebs in general). But for those who are interested, here’s what I did:

I started with some twigs from the yard, which I lashed together with carpet thread to make a door (with a button for the door knob). I nailed it to the base of a tree, and some gravel gathered from my driveway made the front walk.

Continue reading

Why I Became a Fiction Writer

While I may not be making full-time living from my writing (yet), I’ve been working my way towards becoming an actual professional writer. I write web content, articles, and social media posts for my job, which I’m blessed to be able to do.

But I’ve always wanted to be a fiction writer, and so I’m plugging away at short stories and novels. When I was in college, and for many years after I graduated and had various jobs that didn’t relate at all to my English degree, I seriously contemplated a life and career path other than that of writer.

I have always had many varied interests, and so picking one thing to do as a “career” seems kind of confining. So why did I pick “writer” and decide to pursue that instead of some other career that might actually be feasible and might make me money?

In short, because I’m lazy. Now to be a career writer (of fiction, or anything else) takes talent, discipline, and lots of hard work. It’s not a career for the lazy. But I considered writing to be the easiest pursuit of all of my interests because… Continue reading


For this week’s post, I’m sharing a poem I wrote. I’m not much of a poet, but I like to dabble in it now and then. So here you go, for your enjoyment (or not) as the case may be:



Periwinkle is a good word

It rhymes with twinkle

Like a star

A star-shaped flower

Or a star exploding like an opened flower

Flowers in the night sky

Most stars aren’t periwinkle, though

A Week Away at Tinker Mountain Writers Workshop

This week I’m blogging from the grounds of Hollins University, which is hosting the annual Tinker Mountain Writers Workshop. This is my first time attending this workshop, though it’s not my first time at Hollins. I graduated from Hollins with a BA in English and creative writing (many moons ago), and so it’s been a fun yet strange experience being back on the campus after so many years.

The scenic Hollins campus

The scenic Hollins campus

I’ve attended writers’ conferences and other workshops before, but never a week-long event. Classes are in the morning, then a short seminar after lunch, and the afternoon and evening are for reading, writing, going for walks, open mic readings, and whatever else you want. It’s wonderful to be away from the bustle of everyday life for a few days, on the quiet scenic university campus, and surrounded by like-minded writers. Continue reading